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Cole Hamels' tenure in Philadelphia is reportedly over.
The Texas Rangers are set to acquire the 31-year-old left-hander, reliever Jake Diekman, and cash from the Phillies in exchange for left-hander Matt Harrison and prospects Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Alec Asher, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
The Rangers are currently four games below .500, but Texas is not on Hamels' no-trade list, preventing him from vetoing a trade despite his stated preference to be moved to a contender.
In the midst of a painful rebuilding process, the Phillies were so resolved to trade Hamels, they decided to push his upcoming start back a day to eliminate the possibility of injury before the deadline.
"I guess I'm pretty valuable to them right now," Hamels said Tuesday. "I understand. It's OK. I just do what they tell me to do. But I understand them. I guess if I were in their position, I'd do the same thing, too."
By parting ways with Hamels, the Phillies restocked a farm system that has struggled in recent years to graduate stars to the major-league level, landing two of the Rangers' top five prospects in Alfaro and Thompson, according to Baseball Prospectus. On Tuesday, the Phillies shipped closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals for minor-league right-hander Nick Pivetta.
Hamels, though, immediately becomes the best pitcher on a team just four games back off a wild-card berth despite fielding one of the worst rotations in the American League this season. A three-time All-Star, Hamels will earn $23.5 million in each of the next three seasons and has a $20-million team option (with a $6-million buyout) for 2019, though the Phillies will send $9.5 million to Texas as part of the deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Rangers 2016 projected rotation:
|Chi Chi Gonzalez||3.74||43.1||15||1.24|
- *Denotes 2014 stats as player injured in 2015
Over parts of 10 seasons with Philadelphia, Hamels crafted a 3.30 ERA (124 ERA+) over 294 starts and one relief appearance, earning World Series MVP honors in 2008 after helping the Phillies to the second championship in franchise history .
A former first-round pick, Hamels finished among the top 10 in Cy Young voting on four separate occasions while accruing more wins above replacement since 2006 than all but seven pitchers.